Martin Yans Watercress and Watermelon Salad

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Martin Yan’s Watercress and Watermelon Salad

Martin Yan is an incredibly creative chef, and he recently gave me his beautiful new book, Martin Yan’s China, which accompanies his PBS series.  This refreshing summer recipe is from that book.

Makes 6 servings

2 shallots
Vegetable oil for deep-frying

2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 bunches watercress, washed and stems removed
1 cup julienned seedless watermelon
½ cup julienned jicama
¼ cup julienned pickled ginger
¼ cup crystallized ginger
¼ cup toasted walnuts

Peel the shallots, then thinly slice into rounds.  Set aide.  Pour the oil to a depth of 1-1/2 inches in a 1-quart saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the temperature reaches 310°F.  Add the shallots and gently fry, stirring often, until they turn evenly golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.  Remove the shallots with a wire strainer or slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.  Set aside.

Dressing:  Whisk the vinegar, oil, lime juice, ginger and soy sauce together in a small bowl until well mixed.

Place the watercress on a serving plate.  Arrange the watermelon, jicama, pickled ginger, crystallized ginger, walnuts and shallots over the watercress.  Pour the dressing over the top and toss just before serving.